The team at IdeaBuyer.com has compiled the top 10 patent sales of 2012. These sales add up to a grand total of over $20,000,000,000. The patents these technologies protect are often key strategic acquisitions by the purchasers. This year, a number of the top patent sales were liquidations of patent portfolios from defunct or struggling corporations such as Kodak, Nortel, Motorola, and AOL.
#10 Acacia Research Pays $100 Million for Adaptix Patents
January 2012- Adaptix sold 230 patents to Acacia Research; according to reports, the patents cover 4G technology. This deal was Acacia’s first major move to buy patent rights, according to The Wall Street Journal. Acacia has previously partnered with Universities and other organizations to help them enforce patents. Acacia Research makes most of its money by licensing patents and filing lawsuits, earning them a reputation as a Patent Troll.
Total Sale Price: $100 Million
#9 Fujifilm to Universal Display
July 2012- Fujifilm Corp. sold 1,200 patents to Universal Display Corp covering OLED technology. OLEDs are Organic Light Emitting Diodes and are used to make high contrast low energy screens. The deal reportedly doubled the New Jersey based Universal Display’s portfolio.
Total Sale Price: $105 Million
#8 Real Network Patents Sold to Intel
January 2012- Real Network’s sale of 190 patents to Intel was just the tip of the iceberg. According to Businessinsider.com, the deal also included 170 patents that had been applied for that were awaiting approval. Some video streaming software was also included in the deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Total Sale Price: $120 Million
#7 InterDigital Sells 1.700 Patents to Intel
June 2012- Reuter’s reports that InterDigital had agreed to sell 1,700 wireless technology patents to Intel. The sale sent InterDigital stocks soaring by 27%. It was a win/win situation; Intel was interested in expanding its chip business beyond computers while InterDigital was hoping a patent sale would boost stock sales.
Total Sale Price: $375 Million
#6 Microsoft Sells 650 Patents to Facebook
April 2012- Microsoft sold 650 patents to Facebook. Part of the deal included a bunch of patents related to mobile, web and instant messaging technology, according to Nick Wingfield of The NY Times. The deal came less than two weeks after the Microsoft deal with AOL, and looks as though Microsoft was splitting that portfolio with Facebook.
Total Sale Price: $550 Million
#5 Kodak Sells Patent Portfolio to Patent Consortium
December 2012- On December 19th, 2012 arstechnica.com reported that a group of 12 buyers was organized by Intellectual Ventures, to purchase Kodak’s portfolio of 1100 patents. Part of the deal requires that Kodak drop legal proceedings against certain members of the purchasing group. Kodak sued several of the members for patent infringement. According to the LA Times, the bankruptcy filings show that the buyers are: Google, Apple, Facebook, Research in Motion, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe, Huawei Technologies, HTC, Fujifilm and Shutterfly.
While the group has paid for a portion of the portfolio, Intellectual Ventures will retain ownership but cannot sue these already licensed companies.
Total Sale Price: $525 Million
#4 Apple Buys 695 Nortel Patents from Rockstar Consortium
The deal has slipped under the wire and gone on all year. The Rockstar Consortium won the Nortel auction of 6000 patents for $4.5 Billion in July of 2011. By November of 2012, the US Patent and Trademark Office reported that 695 of 1024 patents had already been registered to Apple as part of a deal. Apple has purchased the patents from the Rockstar Consortium which includes Rockstar, Sony, Microsoft, Research in Motion, Ericsson and EMC.
Total Sale Price: $2.5 Billion
#3 AOL Inks $1.05 Billion Deal with Microsoft
April 2012- AOL sold 925 internet technology patents to Microsoft. The New York Times said that the “lofty price reflects the crucial role that the patents are increasingly playing in the business and legal strategies of the world’s ,major technology companies, including Microsoft, Apple Google, Samsung and HTC.
Total Sale Price: $1.05 Billion
#2 Google Sells Off Motorola Home Business to Arris Group
December 2012- As I write this, Google Inc. has announced an agreement to sell its Motorola Home business to Arris Group Inc. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Google wasn’t interested in the television set-top boxes that were part of the portfolio purchased from Motorola in May of 2012. Google will focus on expansion of the smartphones and assign the television related patents to Arris.
Total Sale Price: $2.35 Billion
#1 Google Pays $12.5 Billion for Motorola Patent Portfolio
May 2012- In a deal that began in August of 2011; Google Inc. acquired a sizeable portfolio of patents owned by Motorola. The process involved final approval in February from the US Dept. of Justice, and the European Union. Then in May the company received the final stamp of approval from the People’s Republic of China. The trading commissions are required to approve deals of such magnitude to prevent monopolies on sensitive technology.
Total Sale Price: $12.5 Billion
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